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A career in medical assisting lets you support patients' well-being by handling administrative and clinical responsibilities. Whether recording a patient's medical history, measuring their vital signs, administering medications, or scheduling their next appointment, medical assistants help physicians and medical professionals improve people's lives.
Medical assistants earned a median annual income of $35,850 in 2020, with jobs at outpatient care centers proving the most lucrative. The highest 10% of earners in the field had an annual salary above $50,580. Earning an associate degree online can help you earn more as a medical assistant.
Earning Your Associate in Medical Assisting Online
Completing a medical assistant associate degree online has multiple advantages. Asynchronous programs allow you to attend class at your convenience and balance personal, professional, and academic demands. Distance learning also permits you to continue working while in school and avoid commuting and room and board costs.
Associate in medical assisting online programs usually require some hands-on clinical experiences, which students typically complete near their homes. Students learn everything from records maintenance to interacting with patients.
How Long Does It Take to Earn Your Medical Assisting Associate Degree Online?
On average, an associate in medical assisting online program take two years of full-time study to complete. Enrolling part time allows for increased flexibility, but it also extends your graduation timeline.
Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Medical Assisting
Students seeking admission into online medical assistant associate degree programs must have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate. Depending on the institution, applicants may also need to meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered.
Many schools also ask students to submit their ACT or SAT scores and recommendation letters from supervisors and teachers. You might also need to write a statement explaining your reason for pursuing a medical assisting degree.
Courses in Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Online Programs
Students who earn their medical assistant associate degree online receive a well-rounded education. Graduates can transition directly into the workforce or go on to pursue a four-year degree.
Students learn about the human body, emphasizing physiological processes and anatomical structures. This course explores tissue classifications, nervous and sensory systems, the skeletal system, and cell structure. It may also include laboratory exercises that study the digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.
Participants deepen their understanding of medical terms by learning about word origins, roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Students also explore word building, symbols and abbreviations, and vocabulary related to human anatomy. This class prepares graduates to work closely with medical experts and effectively communicate in professional healthcare settings.
This class develops the competencies needed to aid physicians in medical practices. Students learn to sterilize instruments and equipment and coordinate sterile trays. Coursework also discusses electrocardiography, infection control, and gender-specific examinations.
Students learn about medication therapy, focusing on safety, side effects, actions and adverse reactions, and food and other medication interactions. Learners also receive instruction related to the arithmetic of administering medicines. Moreover, the class looks at medication classifications, the forms and sources of medications, and the impact of bodily systems.
Jobs and Salaries for Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Online
You can pursue many careers once you earn an associate in medical assisting online, and graduates can assume administrative or clinical roles.
Potential Careers and Salaries
Duties vary depending on a worker's specific setting, but they commonly include helping with patient exams, preparing blood samples for testing, entering patient data into medical records, and measuring vitals like blood pressure. An associate degree may prepare graduates to specialize in ophthalmic medical assisting or aid specialty doctors in surgery.
Median Salary : $35,850
In addition to taking X-rays and performing cleanings, these professionals sterilize dental instruments, complete lab-related tasks, and aid dentists during oral procedures. Some states allow these workers to conduct certain procedures, such as coronal polishing and fluoride application. While a lot of their work may be very technical, dental assistants can also oversee patient billing, payments, and scheduling.
Median Salary : $41,180
Accreditation for an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Online Program
When considering where to earn your medical assistant associate degree online, make sure to only look at accredited institutions. Accredited schools must meet certain academic standards, such as having a robust curriculum that prepares students for future success. Completing an associate degree at an accredited college also makes it easier to transfer to a four-year program.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) award specialized accreditation to medical assisting programs. Graduates of these programs can sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants certification exam.
The certified medical assistant designation verifies a recipient's extensive knowledge of clerical, general, and administrative duties in the field. Employers frequently recruit individuals who hold this credential. Only graduates of CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited programs may take this exam.
Online Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Online Scholarships
Scholarships can help pay for college and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Unlike loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid, and you may be able to renew these awards throughout your enrollment. Every scholarship maintains its own eligibility criteria. The list below includes a few scholarships that can be used to help pay for online medical assistant associate degree programs.
Who Can Apply: AMT provides scholarships for students whose studies lead to a career that the organization certifies. These professions include medical assistants, dental assistants, and medical laboratory assistants. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need.
Who Can Apply: Students who attend one of this organization's member schools can apply. The association awards scholarships to individuals with outstanding academic achievement to support their future leadership in allied health.
Who Can Apply: Students who have completed at least one quarter of college-level medical assisting coursework while earning a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply for this award. Applicants must be attending a CAAHEP-accredited program.
Amount: $1,000 and a one-year AAMA membership
Who Can Apply: Scholarship recipients must be pursuing a healthcare degree and enroll in at least six credits until program completion. Students must also hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and commit to working in a medically underserved area in California for one year.
Amount: Up to $8,000
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